Friday, 27 December 2013

An Amazing Gift

My Dad, brother and sister came out to visit me on December 23rd and brought a Jeep loaded to the roof with Christmas gifts. It was so kind of them to do that and brave freezing rain on the highway. They took back the gifts from us too but the Jeep wasn't quite so full on the way back. ;)

One gift though, was not a Christmas gift. This gift was a Juki sewing machine. This machine was given to me by a dear quilting friend named Lou who is very ill with cancer and can no longer sew on her machines. This gift comes under such sad circumstances but I am very honoured to be chosen to receive it. Lou is a bit older than my Mom and she and I used to go to Quilt Guild meetings when I was in my early 20's before I had children. She has been a family friend since I was in high school.




Those of you who read my blog know that my 14 year old Kenmore machine has seen better days. Here is a photo on one of her sadder days. The light bulb burned out so I duck taped a flashlight to the machine.
I have since bought a new light bulb for her and my Dad and Mom are coming to visit me again soon so Dad says he will bring his tools and service it for me.

Going back to the Juki; this would be a fantastic gift to receive on any day but compared to the Kenmore it really blows me away. I was so amazed when I first received it that I thought there must be a mistake. My Mom did not come out on the day trip because my 90 year-old Grandma is also ill in the hospital and happens to be on the same floor as Lou. I called my Mom who has visited Lou in the hospital and asked "Is she sure she wants to give this to me?" And Mom said "yes, she knows you will use it for many years." And I still couldn't believe it.Then I asked "why doesn't she set it up in the dining room if she cannot get downstairs to her sewing studio?" And then my Mom explained that Lou is very ill and is dying. She had breast cancer and it has become bone cancer. I am so sad about this. I wrote Lou a letter and told her that I was so honoured to receive this gift but that I would give it back without a second of hesitation if I knew it would make her well again.

All that she asks of me is that I consider sewing Quilts of Valour on the machine as she had hoped to do. If course I will sew Quilts of Valour. Being a Canadian soldier's wife this cause is dear to my heart. So last night I set up the machine and taught myself how to thread it and sewed the little pin cushion you see in the top photo. I have already chosen a quilt pattern and a soldier to sew for. So I will let you all know how I do with that soon.

In the meantime, I must go dry the tears from my face as writing this post has me crying again. My friend Lou is such a wonderful, generous person and her quilts are as beautiful as her soul.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Some Last Minute Santa Gnomes

It's a sunny minus 32 degrees Celsius here today. We have decided to stay home and have a pajama day. The kids are both sick so we felt that skipping church and staying inside the warm house was a good idea. Pajama day is synonymous with sewing day for me so I have sewn up four more Gnoma Clauses.

These ones have all been given away as gifts already. (This is a photo from my Instagram feed.)
These Santas below were sewn up this morning. The big two sided one is because my kids wanted one they could "share". My son could have the blue side and my daughter could have the pink side. So far there's been more fighting than sharing with me yelling "Don't rip that gnome!" Ah, nothing like a quiet day in the house. ;)
 The kids also decorated the dining room window where I photographed these gnomes. They used Crayola Window markers.
 Here is a Christmas tree (by my husband) with rainbow clouds (by my daughter) above it.
 Here is Santa on his sleigh with a reindeer and more clouds above him as well as a large snowflake (by my son). I was at work so missed out on this fun.
On Tuesday night at 10:00 I remembered that my son needed an elf hat for his school Christmas concert. So I whipped this up out of scraps in 20 minutes. Here is my dog (another Instagram photo) modelling it for me. He's sleeping and too lazy to move even when someone sticks an elf hat on his head. It's slightly too big for him.

That is my sewing for the week so far. I plan to work on the never-ending Christmas quilt that won't be done in time for Christmas this afternoon. Happy sewing everyone! And Merry Christmas if I don't write another blog post before then! :)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Giveaway Winners

Hello from snowy Alberta! We went for a country drive today for my son's hockey game in a village called Chauvin but he had to come off the ice after one period as he was too sick to play. I think he might be coming down with the flu the poor guy. On the way home we saw a big bull moose on the side of the highway so we slowed right down and he crossed the road in front of us!

Anyway, you want to know who won the Sew Mama Sew Giveaways! The winner of the Briar Rose is:

 Comment 357 Deb of PA, USA! Congratulations Deb!
 And the winner of Holiday Happy is: Jodi a.k.a. usairdoll of CA, USA who was comment 285. Congratulations Jodi!
The winner of the zipper pouch, mug rug (pink) and Divine Twine is Mara in Greece! Congratulations Mara!

All draws were made using the Random Number Generator. I had to re-draw on both the supply and the handmade giveaways because the first numbers drawn were no-reply bloggers who did not leave their emails. All winners were notified by email and all have replied to me with their addresses so their packages are ready to go in the mail on Monday.

I want to thank everyone who came to visit my blog and entered my giveaways. I especially want to thank those people who chose to be new blog followers and those who chose to purchase from my Etsy shop. Thank you so much everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. :D

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - Handmade Giveaway

***Update*** The winner of this giveaway as chosen by the Random Number generator is comment 130  - Mara. Mara has been notified and her package is ready to ship! :) This was the second number drawn as the first number was a no-reply blogger who did not leave an email.

It's finally here! The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day... which is actually a week long. All week we get to visit different blogs, enter awesome giveaways and meet new bloggers! Plus, maybe some of you will choose to follow my blog too. It's so much fun!

If you haven't been to my blog before; I live in Alberta, Canada. It is very cold here right now! It's been -41 degrees celcius here with the wind chill the past few days. I have been quilting for about 17 years and sewing longer than that. I also make paper crafts, rubber stamp, scrapbook, knit, embroider and more. I love crafting!

 I live on a military base and these guys live here too. There was a National Park here before the base moved here in the late 1930's and land was set aside to continue the Bison regeneration program here.

This is my second time participating in this fantastic event. This time around I am offering both supplies and handmade items. This post is for my handmade items. What I have to give away is this adorable, or at least I think so, handmade zipper pouch. I have these up for sale in my Etsy shop as well.



I have a couple of little bonus items to put in with this prize too. They are a holiday mug rug and divine twine which are also available to order from my Etsy shop.



If you would like to win this please leave me a comment on this post telling me what you would keep in this little zipper pouch and what colour you would like your mug rug to be: red, blue, black, orange or pink.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you will follow me if you like what you see here. This giveaway will remain open until December 13th at 5:00 p.m. PST. Winner will be chosen by a random draw and I will email the winner and post the winner's name on this post by Sunday Dec. 15th. This giveaway is open internationally to everyone. Please note: if I cannot email you, you cannot win. If you are a no-reply blogger or not a blogger at all then make sure your email is in your comment. Write it like this: "jane dot doe at yahoo dot com" so that you don't get spam mail.

You are welcome to follow my blog and follow me on various other media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, email, and Bloglovin to name a few. You can find buttons for these in the button bar on the right hand side of my blog.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - Supply Giveaway

***UPDATE*** The winners of this giveaway as chosen by the Random Number Generator are: Comment #357 - Deb who chose Briar Rose and Comment #285 - Jodi a.k.a. usairdoll who receives Holiday Happy. Deb was actually the second number drawn but the first number was a no-reply blogger who did not leave an email address so I had to draw a third number.


It's finally here! The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day... which is actually a week long. All week we get to visit different blogs, enter awesome giveaways and meet new bloggers! Plus, maybe some of you will choose to follow my blog too. It's so much fun!

If you haven't been to my blog before; I live in Alberta, Canada. It is very cold here right now! I have been quilting for about 17 years and sewing longer than that. I also make paper crafts, rubber stamp, scrapbook, knit, embroider and more. I love crafting!

I live on a military base and these guys live here too. There was a National Park here before the base moved here in the late 1930's and land was set aside to continue the Bison regeneration program here.
This is my second time participating in this fantastic event. This time around I am offering both supplies and handmade items. This post is for my supply items. What I have to give away are two fabric prizes, one each, for two lucky winners!

 The first prize is a charm square pack of "Holiday Happy" by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien fabrics. There are 28 squares in this pack.

The second prize is a fat quarter bundle of 8 fat quarters of "Briar Rose" by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics. I have these fat quarters bundles for sale in my Etsy shop as well.
 

 To win please leave a comment on this post telling me which prize you would prefer. This giveaway will remain open until Dec. 13, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. PST. I will choose two winners by random draw and email both winners by Dec. 15, 2013. I will also announce the winners on this post. Good luck and have fun visiting all the blogs and entering all the giveaways this week. This giveaway is open to everyone internationally. Please note: if I cannot email you, you cannot win. If you are a no-reply blogger or not a blogger at all then make sure your email is in your comment. Write it like this: "jane dot doe at yahoo dot com" so that you don't get spam mail.

Thank you for visiting my blog and you are welcome to follow my blog and follow me on various other media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, email, and Bloglovin to name a few. You can find buttons for these in the button bar on the right hand side of my blog.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday

It's cold and snowy here today. A great day to stay inside and sew. I do have to run out at least four times though so I hope I manage to get quite a bit done in between piano lessons, grocery shopping and school pick-up.

I plan to sew up several more of these adorable little guys:
For Christmas gifts. It's going to be hard to give them away... I love them so much! :)

I had a question from Julie about how I made these Santa Gnomes so here is a quick run down for you.
The little Santa Gnomes are cut out of yardage printed with them on it. The fabric line is Winterkist by Monica Solorio- Snow for Lecien fabrics. I found the fabrics from various Etsy shops. I layered my Santa on top of backing fabric from the same line and cut a quarter inch from the printed edge of the Santa. I left a little bit more than a quarter inch at the bottom where I would have to turn under and hand sew. Then, with right sides together I stitched a quarter inch seam all around leaving an opening at the bottom big enough to get my hand through. Then I trimmed close to the point at the top of the hat and turned it right side out. Then stuffed with polyfill stuffing making sure to really get the tip of the hat filled well. Then I turned in the raw edges and whip stitched the Santa closed at the bottom when I was finished stuffing.

I also need to sew a bunch more of these blocks:
 These have been sitting for about a month now waiting for friends to join them.
And I need to turn these scraps into something too.

There's about a hundred other things I want to sew to but I'm trying to keep it real here. ;) Happy sewing to you! Stay warm if it's cold where you are. It's -32C here with the wind chill. (We live near a lake.) I am linking up with W.I.P. Wednesday for the first time in months!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cyber Monday Sale Starts Today

Hi everyone. I am having a Cyber Monday sale in my Etsy shop. Everything is 20% off from Nov. 30th through to Dec. 2nd at midnight. Here are my latest creations that I have in my shop. :) I have added a section for zipper pouches to and I have been having so much fun sewing them and picking the fabrics for them. Please send me an Etsy convo if you are overseas and wishing to purchase one. I will get a postage quote for you.

 These ones are "goth style" zipper pouches with geeky glasses for the lining fabric.

 I have two Matryoshka zipper pouches. These are priced higher than the goth ones because the zipper alone was $5.00.
 They are lined with dark purple pearl bracelets.

And I have one pink one with cameras on the outside and geeky glasses for the lining.

Thanks for checking out my latest projects. :) I managed to find a sewing machine light bulb at Walmart for $1.97! So I don't have my flashlight duck taped to my machine anymore. Happy sewing and shopping!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Productive Weekend

I have been so busy sewing this week I haven't had time to blog about it. So get ready for a lot of pictures. :)

 I sewed this pillow cover yesterday. It says "home is where the army sends us" on the roof. I am making them to order in my Etsy shop and have received two orders so far.
 I made this little Gnoma Claus pillow yesterday too and have these listed to be made to order as well.
 I made two of these zipper pouches. One for me and one for the shop. I love this pink camera fabric.
 
 I used the Geekly Chic geeky glasses fabric for the lining for both pouches.

Arent' they fun!? I am sewing some goth style ones with skulls for the shop too. They're not really my thing but I know there are people out there who will enjoy them. They will be lined with pink geeky glasses too.
 I made a few more of these mug rugs though I haven't been getting as many done as I would like. I decided that since the school is only selling donated items for .25 cents that I would donate the 10 or 15 Estee Lauder make-up bags that I have sitting around the house (brand new of course) and I'll just sew the mug rugs for the church fundraiser. These take a bit of work and I think they're worth more than .25 cents.
 I sewed this pillow cover this afternoon as it was the first order I received from a fellow military wife. She wanted PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) colours so we have burgundy and gold in here.
Here it is finished but when I was done it was almost 4:30 in the afternoon and the sun was already setting! So I could not get a daylight shot. It's hard to see here but it says "home is where the army sends us" on the roof. I later added the family name to the door at her request.

 
Oh yeah, and the light bulb in my sewing machine burnt out. I thought I had a spare one around but of course I can't find it. Maybe I don't have one. So, I duck taped a pink LED flashlight to my machine. How sad is that? Ha ha!

So, I've been busy spending quality time with my sewing machine. Now my studio looks like a bomb went off so I better tidy up a bit. Thanks for visiting my somewhat neglected blog today. :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

My Gnoma Clause Mug Rug

Time escaped me once again this week but I did manage to sew up this cute little mug rug. The fabric is Winterkist by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien.

I can't get enough of these Gnoma Clauses that Monica designed. I don't know what I'm going to do when I use up all my fabric. I'll try not to think about it. I quilted this guy with loop-de-loops. I plan to sew a few dozen of these in the next couple of weeks for fundraisers at the school and church and also as teacher gifts. I hope to put a few in my Etsy shop too! They're handy - especially on a desk where you don't have a tonne of space. You can keep your coffee mug and a small snack plate on them as they're bigger than a coaster and smaller than a placemat. I'm looking forward to sewing them in five colours. I have almost the whole day off tomorrow so I should be able to get a few finished. They're a great way to use up batting scraps too! :)

Monday, 11 November 2013

We're Almost Halfway Through November!

I don't know where the time is going but I just do not have enough of it these days! There has been some sewing going on here but not as much as I would like. This is my finish from last Tuesday though.

 It's another Lorax Baby quilt for my Etsy shop. This time in the "natural" colourway.
 I "free styled" it on the piecing again by just working with what I had on hand and coming up with this pattern.
 All piecing and quilting is sewn with Aurifil thread. I love that little Lorax! He's too cute!
 I pieced the back out of scraps too. The binding is machine sewn to both the front and the back of the quilt.
 I had a happy mail day last week when these lovely "Scrumptious" pre-cuts arrived. I ordered them from Craftsy when I signed up for Camille Roskelley's new class "Playful Piecing Techniques". When you sign up for classes you can usually order fabric for the class at a discount. :) I have also ordered a kit for one of the quilts in the class so I am eagerly checking the mail everyday waiting for that to come in. I also signed up for Joanna Figueroa's Class on Craftsy as well. Both of these classes have fun quilts in them so I hope I can get some sewn up soon! I used coupon codes for both of these. For Playful Piecing I found one in this post on Camille Roskelley's blog. I got the discount for Joanna's class when Craftsy had a sale on quilting classes so keep an eye out for those to save some money.
 Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. We are a military family so it is a very important day for us. Here are my kids all dressed up to go to the ceremony and looking angelic. (They are not always like this. Ha Ha! But on the whole they are very good kids.)
They were asked to lay a wreath on behalf of our church so here they are all ready before the ceremony even started. My husband and I were very proud of them. They did a great job.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry in the Baby Quilt Category

 
 This is my entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Baby Quilt Category. I made this quilt out of several batik charm squares which I arranged in rainbow colour order as best I could (the pink doesn't really fit in the rainbow but I put it in with the purples) and created this zigzag pattern using white background fabric.

I listed this shop for sale in my Etsy shop and it was well received on the site and was even added to a few Treasury lists. (I actually just sold this quilt last week!) I kept the quilting simple by just following along the zigzags in the white fabric.

Here is a close-up of some of the fabrics. It was really fun to work with so many bright vibrant colours making them pop with the white. I am proud of this creation. Thanks for stopping by to check it out. Make sure to check out the other entries in the Festival and vote for your favorites starting Nov. 1.





Why I Want to Win a Baby Lock Melody Sewing Machine

Hi again. I am writing this post to enter to win a Baby Lock Melody sewing machine as part of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. So here is why I want to win:

1. I am sewing on a 16 year-old Kenmore from Sears. It's a regular sewing machine that does not have special features for quilters. It's been a good machine and has held up well. But now it is having tension problems which is causing me to have tension problems.

Here's a picture of the dear old girl. I hope she holds up if I don't win!







2. I cannot really afford to buy a new machine right now and have to save up. I don't know if my machine will last until I have enough saved up.

3. In checking out the Baby Lock Melody machine online I have learned that it has several features that I would enjoy as a quilter. Such as 189 built-in stitch patterns. I am sure one of those stitches would be a blanket stitch and I would love to have that for applique. It also has a hands free presser foot lift and several push button controls that would really speed up my process.

I hope I win! :) Wish me luck! Here's a picture of a beautiful sunset near my home that I took last week to brighten up this post.